As with all occasions and holidays, St Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity for scammers to do their work. Here are 10 scams to watch for not just on that date, but at all times.
There are so many possibilities when it comes to identity theft scams as we blithely share information online that gives away a lot about us. In fact, it’s perhaps best to say that it will happen to you in some form during your life. Just be careful what you share, and who with.
A famous and prolific scam, phishing is where unscrupulous persons try and get information out of people using social media. Those ‘questionnaires’ you see on Facebook that look like a bit of fun? Take a step back, as they are usually mining information.
Persons with bad credit are a target for scammers, and if you’ve been looking for a loan – perhaps to take your other half away for a Valentine’s break – you will have seen many ‘guaranteed loans for bad credit.’ Walk away from them, as 99 out of 100 are not real lenders.
Before you buy that item, you’ve been looking for at a knockdown price, remember this: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. There are many fake websites offering all types of products, so look for the padlock icon and check the status
Credit Card Scams
That email or SMS – or even a phone call – saying there is an anomaly on your credit card is likely to be a scam. If they ask for your account details don’t give them, and certainly don’t give them your password or even a hint.
eBay is a great pace to shop for bargains, and there are many new and used items for sale that are entirely genuine. However, it’s also a hotbed for scammers as it is difficult to tell the genuine sellers from the fake offers. Always check feedback and ask the seller a question about the item.
Credit Repair Scams
Credit repair companies exist that can help you with your credit rating, yet this is a market that is rife with false claims. Always research the company carefully and use one of the many searches that tell you the authority of a website.
Debt Collection Scams
You get an email about a debt that you shouldered years ago, but you don’t remember it. These can be quite frightening and intimidating, and often the temptation to pay a usually small amount is too much. Don’t, as the debt more than likely isn’t real.
This one goes back to the ‘if it’s too good to be true’ adage. A Rolex for $100 is never going to be a genuine Rolex. It’s a simple as that.
Finally, Facebook and social media are full of fake competitions in which you will win nothing, but give away your address, email, phone number, and probably have to set up an account with a password – a password you use elsewhere.
Be vigilant and enjoy your Valentine’s Day.